The San Francisco Chronicle
does some good old-fashioned shoeleather reporting.
Over the last decade, filings to the Internal Revenue Service reveal the nonprofit [Helpers Community Inc. — known until 2015 as Helpers of the Mentally Retarded] has done little charitable work while amassing millions of dollars in assets and donations and generously compensating [Joy] Bianchi, whose work includes attending red-carpet galas from Beverly Hills to Manhattan where she appears alongside celebrities such as Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Katy Perry.
Helpers’ mission statement defines its “most pressing and important goal” as supporting quality residential care for the developmentally disabled. But in the past 13 years, the charity has given nothing to residential programs. And for a six-year period from 2003 to 2008, Helpers gave nothing at all to any charitable cause, according to financial records.
Bianchi, meanwhile, has been paid far above the norm for directors of charities. With base compensation of $193,828 in 2015, Bianchi earned roughly $100,000 more than the CEOs of about two dozen similarly sized San Francisco human service nonprofits tracked by Charity Navigator, a leading national watchdog group. Bianchi earned an additional $29,074 in retirement and other deferred compensation that year.
What did Helpers do, back when it did anything? I am not making this up.
Bianchi volunteered for Helpers as a teen in the 1950s, eventually joining the organization in the 1960s just as it opened its first residential care home. For roughly 40 years, money raised by the organization helped fund its group homes, which boasted lush drapery, crystal chandeliers and needlepoint-covered chairs. Helpers cared for a total of 33 residents, offering them craft-making workshops and lessons in etiquette and fine dining.